PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: First Date — Kiss Today Goodbye

By Harry Haun
09 Aug 2013

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Randy Adams, whose Junkyard Dog Productions is lead producer of the show, entered the picture about the same time. "We had worked with the songwriters, Alan and Michael, on a couple of other projects, helping them move along things, and they invited us to the very, very first reading of this, and we fell in love with it. We picked it up and have been working with them ever since. They've done a great job. It's fun, it's cute, it's contemporary — it's just different, and that's what matters."

And he's very aware of the comedy's major asset. "Zachary is such a natural. It's amazing. He has not been on stage like this since high school. He's done vocal work. He did that in 'Tangled,' but it's been such a long time since he has been on stage."

Part of the reason Levi's performance is so hilarious — an important part — is Rodriguez, his straightman — er, straightwoman that he bounces his laughs off.

"Zachary's the best," she insists. "Not only is he funny and charming, he's a wonderful guy — and a hard worker. That's what I believe in. I'm all about work.

"We both worked on seeming spontaneous. People think that maybe we're, cracking up at each other — and sometimes we are — but sometimes that just what we're doing. When we had our first matinee, I said, 'All right. It might be a little quiet.' And he's like, 'It doesn't matter. I'm going out there full-tilt.' He's 100% all the time."

Rodriguez's occasionally strident Casey also contributes to the fun by making the first date seem scary. "I love Casey because she doesn't hold back — she's a sharpshooter," admits the actress, who has appeared in A Chorus Line, Spring Awakening, In the Heights and The Addams Family. "I don't like to say everything that's on my mind. She says everything that's on her mind, and she says it sharper and funnier than I ever could. I admire that. I also admire, in some ways, she's a little guarded. I'm more open. I'll take on people, I'll love people — y'know, keep myself open a lot longer than she would. I like that she has a tough screening process. I admire that."

Loprest likes the fact that she gets to play the other woman on two different levels. "You don't know she's the bad ex at first, so I play it like she's wonderful and amazing. I think that's great writing because you have already come to like her."